Saturday, April 24, 2010

"That's All The Ammo They Had"

I love common sense and plain speaking. This is a couple of years old, but a post on a gun forum reminded me of this story today, so I googled it and found it in Fox New's archives. We need more public officials like Sheriff Judd.
Florida Police Shot Suspected Cop Killer 68 Times
Sunday , October 01, 2006


Officers fired 110 rounds of ammunition at the man suspected of killing a sheriff's deputy, killing the suspect, according to an autopsy released by the sheriff's office.

Angilo Freeland — who was suspected of fatally shooting the deputy after being pulled over for speeding Thursday — was hit 68 times by the SWAT team members' shots, the examination released Saturday showed.

He also was suspected of wounding a deputy and killing a police dog.

Freeland's death ended a nearly 24-hour manhunt that forced schools to lock down and families to stay indoors as about 500 officers scoured the woods.

The wounded deputy had pulled Freeland over for speeding and became suspicious of his identification. The suspect got nervous and bolted into the woods, officials said.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said he was not concerned by the number of shots fired.

"You have to understand, he had already shot and killed a deputy, he had already shot and killed a K-9 and he shot and injured another deputy," Judd said by phone Saturday. "Quite frankly, we weren't taking any chances."

Ten SWAT officers surrounded Freeland on Friday as he hid beneath brush and a fallen tree in a rural area. Authorities say he raised the gun belonging to the deputy he had killed, prompting nine officers to fire.

"I suspect the only reason 110 rounds was all that was fired was that's all the ammunition they had," Judd said.
"We were not going to take any chance of him shooting back."

The SWAT officers who shot Freeland have been placed on paid administrative leave, standard procedure in all police shootings.

Also released Saturday were autopsy results for the deputy, Vernon Matthew Williams, 39, which showed he had been shot eight times. He was not wearing a protective vest, but shots hit him in his right leg and behind his right ear, among other places.

Diogi, his German shepherd police dog, was also killed. The dog had been shot once in the chest.

Authorities said deputy sheriff Doug Speirs, also 39, was fired at several times and shot once in the leg. A sergeant and an officer from the Lakeland Police Department were also fired at, authorities said.

Hold Your Nose and Cross Your Fingers

He was insufferable as a Congressman, he's been an even slimier eel as a Senator.

Accoring to this New York Times business blog post, it appears that Chuckie Schumer has got his sights on the post of Senate Majority Leader. If he obtains this post, he'll have a much bigger media spotlight from which to spread his bile and slander. Ugh.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


You may have heard about this meteor on the news. I had just stepped outside to enjoy the warm spring night when this meteor lit up the sky. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The meteor was captured on this police officer's dashboard camera:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Obama's the Best ...

... at coddling enemies and alienating friends.

In fact, he's even managed to anger his biggest fans -- the mainstream media -- notable for their fawning coverage of Obama and willful blindness his prevarications (ever see anyone call him on his numerous broken promises (e.g., no lobbyists in his Administration, healthcare debate on C-Span, five-day waiting period before signing legislation, etc. etc., etc.).

But, check out this piece in today's WaPo (my emphasis added):

Obama's disregard for media reaches new heights at nuclear summit
By Dana Milbank
Wednesday, April 14, 2010; A02

World leaders arriving in Washington for President Obama's Nuclear Security Summit must have felt for a moment that they had instead been transported to Soviet-era Moscow.

In the middle of it all was Obama -- occupant of an office once informally known as "leader of the free world" -- putting on a clinic for some of the world's greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press.

The only part of the summit, other than a post-meeting news conference, that was visible to the public was Obama's eight-minute opening statement, which ended with the words: "I'm going to ask that we take a few moments to allow the press to exit before our first session."

Reporters for foreign outlets, admitted for the first time to the White House press pool, got the impression that the vaunted American freedoms are not all they're cracked up to be.

Yasmeen Alamiri from the Saudi Press Agency got this lesson in press freedom when trying to cover Obama's opening remarks as part of that limited pool: "The foreign reporters/cameramen were escorted out in under two minutes, just as the leaders were about to begin, and Obama was going to make remarks. . . . Sorry, it is what it is."

Alamiri's counterparts from around the world wrote of similar experiences in their pool reports. Arabic-language MBC TV's Nadia Bilbassy had this to say of Obama's meeting with the Jordanian king: "We were there for around 30 seconds, not enough even to notice the color of tie of both presidents. I think blue for the king."

The Press Trust of India, at Obama's meeting with the Pakistani prime minister, reported, "In less than a minute, the pool was asked to leave." The Yomiuri Shimbun correspondent found that she was "ushered out about 30 seconds" after arriving for Obama's meeting with the Malaysian prime minister. A reporter with Turkey's TRT-Turk went to Obama's meeting with the president of Armenia, but "we had to leave the room again after less than 40 seconds."

Even the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, was more talkative with the press than Obama. Michelle Jamrisko, with Japan's Kyodo News, noted in her pool report that Hu, at his session with Obama, spoke to the Chinese media in Chinese, while Obama limited himself mostly to "say hello to the cameras" and "thank you everybody."

Obama's official schedule for Tuesday would have pleased China's Central Committee. Excerpts: "The President will attend the Heads of Delegation working lunch. This lunch is closed press. . . . The President will meet with Prime Minster Erdogan of Turkey. This meeting is closed press. . . . The President will attend Plenary Session II of the Nuclear Security Summit. This session is closed press."

Reporters, even those on the White House beat for two decades, said these were the most restricted such meetings they had ever seen. They complained to both the administration and White House Correspondents' Association, which will discuss the matter Thursday with White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

The restrictions have become a common practice for the Obama White House. When Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu came to the White House a couple of weeks ago, reporters were kept away. Soon after that, Obama signed an executive order on abortion, again without any coverage.

Over the weekend, Obama broke with years of protocol and slipped off to a soccer game without the "protective" pool that is always in the vicinity of the president in case the unthinkable occurs. Obama joked about it later to Pakistan's prime minister, saying reporters "were very upset."

In "bilateral" meetings with foreign leaders, presidents usually take questions, or at least trade statements. But at most of Obama's, there were only written "readouts." Canada: "The president and the prime minister noted the enduring strength of our bilateral partnership." India: "The two leaders vowed to continue to strengthen the robust relationship between the people of their countries." Pakistan: "President Obama began by noting that he is very fond of Pakistan."

Finally, away from other leaders, Obama took reporters' questions for 20 minutes. They were tough and skeptical questions that punctured the banal readouts: pointing out that the nonproliferation agreements weren't binding, noting China's equivocation on sanctions against Iran, and pressing Obama on the failure to curb North Korea's weapons. The Post's Scott Wilson asked Obama if he would call on Israel, which skipped the summit, to declare its nuclear weapons.

"I'm not going to comment on their program," Obama said.

Not surprising. But it's still important that the questions are asked.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Leah Ward Sears for Supreme Court?

ABC's Jake Tapper is saying this morning that former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears is one of the candidates being considered for the U.S. Supreme Court. I think that could be a good pick. Why? I think she's probably liberal, but I don't think she's a radical. Actually, my only knowledge of her is a recent op-ed (and pasted below) she had in the Wall Street Journal. However, I was very impressed with her honesty and integrity. So, while it's a given that Odumbo is going to nominate a liberal, I'd much rather have a liberal with some integrity than some knee-jerk radical who's out to promote their particular ideology.

How About Those Tomato Sandwiches . . .

What does a former chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court do when she's mistaken for the restroom attendant?


Every March, I am invited to give a fair number of speeches in honor of Women's History Month. Having served as the country's first African-American female chief justice, I suppose one can say that I now own a slice of history. What strikes many people as particularly noteworthy is that I earned my stripes in Georgia, the deep South.

These speeches always force me to think of my own journey, sandwiched somewhere between how far women have come and how far we still have to go. The road for black women remains especially long.

I think back to the time when I was 23 years old and fresh out of law school. To celebrate the merger of my prestigious law firm with another, I attended a luncheon at an old private club in Atlanta. I was the only woman of color in the sea of lawyers present, and I felt like I had finally made it.

During the lunch I excused myself and went to the ladies' room. As I was leaving, another much older white woman tried to hand me her hat assuming, I guess, that I was the restroom attendant.

Growing up in Georgia, I've learned that the Southern way to handle such gaffes is to act as though they never happened, to jump to the subject of tomato sandwiches or the like. And that's just what I did. "I'm a lawyer; I'm having lunch here," I murmured. And without uttering another word, the lady handed her hat to the other black woman in the room—the one who was actually the attendant.

I'd like to think that scene wouldn't happen today, that times have changed. But a decade later I was at the Cloisters at Sea Island attending a swanky cocktail party. This time I was a Georgia Supreme Court justice. An older woman approached me. "The next time I want you to make sure you put more ice in my drink," she said, mistaking me for the cocktail waitress. I collected myself and said, "I'm Justice Sears," emphasizing the title, "the server is over there." And then, more talk of tomato sandwiches.

Something similar happened just two years ago, after I had become chief justice. I was walking with my children at yet another resort on the coast when a lady pulled over and hollered, "Hey girl, where's the spa?" Stunned, I directed her to the wellness facility, but this time I was seething with anger because my children were embarrassed.

I, like many women, tend to turn on myself when such faux pas occur. "Was I laughing so loudly she assumed I was the help?" I've asked myself. "Were my clothes too loud or cheap looking?" I've pondered.

I recently stepped down from the Supreme Court after 17 years to re-enter private practice, and many people are confused about how to address me. To be honest, I'm very fond of my first name. And perhaps if everything was right in the world, calling me Leah would be just fine. But I tend to ask people to call me Chief Justice Sears or Justice Sears because it's the same courtesy they automatically afford a retired male jurist, particularly down South. For instance, it was always "Judge Bell," even long after the U.S. attorney and former judge retired, never "Griffin." When I retired many people were suddenly confused. Why?

When gender and race-based—with me, it's impossible to separate the two—slights have occurred over the course of my career, I've always tried to remember the words of my friend Jean Young, an accomplished educator and the late wife of former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. "You have to forgive and forgive and forgive," she always said, "and then you have to forgive again. Otherwise it will destroy you."

Tomato sandwiches? It may sound trite, but it works. Especially when I consider the many women—and men too—black and white, who endured their own indignities and even harm so I could go to any college I wanted and pursue any profession I chose.

Ms. Ward Sears is a retired chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court and a partner at Schiff Hardin LLP in Atlanta. She also serves as a fellow in family law at the Institute for American Values and is a visiting professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.

The Camel's Back

Even though fewer people are paying taxes, the tax burden is increasing. Obviously, that means less people are paying more taxes. At some point, this will break the camel's back and those remaining taxpayers are going to "opt out" or, as depicted in 'Atlas Shrugged', they'll go on strike and refuse to keep subsidizing the "looters".

Mark Steyn lays it out for us:

Income tax payer an endangered species

2010-04-09 10:09:50

We are nearing the climax of "tax season." That's the problem right there, by the way: Summer should have a season, and baseball should have a season, but not tax. Happily, like candy canes and Christmas tree lights on Dec. 26, the TurboTax boxes will soon be disappearing from the display racks until the nights start drawing in, and the leaves fall from the trees and tax season begins anew in seven or eight months' time.

And yet, for an increasing number of Americans, tax season is like baseball season: It's a spectator sport. According to the Tax Policy Center, for the year 2009 47 percent of U.S. households will pay no federal income tax. Obviously, many of them pay other kinds of taxes – state tax, property tax, cigarette tax. But at a time of massive increases in federal spending, half the country is effectively making no contribution to it, whether it's national defense or vital stimulus funding to pump monkeys in North Carolina full of cocaine (true, seriously, but don't ask me why). Half a decade back, it was just under 40 percent who paid no federal income tax; now it's just under 50 percent. By 2012, America could be holding the first federal election in which a majority of the population will be able to vote themselves more government lollipops paid for by the ever-shrinking minority of the population still dumb enough to be net contributors to the federal treasury. In less than a quarter-millennium, the American Revolution will have evolved from "No taxation without representation" to representation without taxation. We have bigger government, bigger bureaucracy, bigger spending, bigger deficits, bigger debt, and yet an ever smaller proportion of citizens paying for it.

The top 5 percent of taxpayers contribute 60 percent of revenue. The top 10 percent provide 75 percent. Another two-fifths make up the rest. And half are exempt. This isn't redistribution – a "leveling" to address the "mal-distribution" of income, as Sen. Max Baucus, D-Kleptocristan, put it the other day. It isn't even "spreading the wealth around," as then Sen. Barack Obama put it in an unfortunate off-the-prompter moment during the 2008 campaign. Rather, it's an assault on the moral legitimacy of the system. If you accept the principle of a tax on income, it might seem reasonable to exclude the very poor from having to contribute to it. But in no meaningful sense of the term can half the country be considered "poor." United States income tax is becoming the 21st century equivalent of the "jizya" – the punitive tax levied by Muslim states on their non-Muslim citizens: In return for funding the Islamic imperium, the infidels were permitted to carry on practicing their faith. Likewise, under the American jizya, in return for funding Big Government, the nonbelievers are permitted to carry on practicing their faith in capitalism, small business, economic activity and the other primitive belief systems to which they cling so touchingly.

In the Islamic world, the infidel tax base eventually wised up. You can see it literally in the landscape in rural parts of the Balkans: Christian tradesmen got fed up paying the jizya and moved out of the towns up into remote hills far from the shakedown crowd. In less mountainous terrain where it's harder to lie low, non-Muslims found it easier to convert. That's partly what drove Islamic expansion. Once Araby was all-Muslim, it was necessary to move on to the Levant, and to Persia, and to Central Asia and North Africa and India and Europe – in search of new infidels to mug. Don't worry, I'm not so invested in my analogy that I'm suggesting the Obama-Reid-Pelosi shakedown racket will be forced to invade Canada and Scandinavia. For one thing, pretty much everywhere else got with the Big Government program well ahead of America and long ago figured out all the angles: Two-thirds of French imams are on the dole. In the Stockholm suburb of Tensta, 20 percent of women in their late 40s collect disability benefits. In the United Kingdom, 5 million people – a 10th of the adult population – have not done a day's work since the New Labour government took office in 1997.

America has a ways to go to catch up with those enlightened jurisdictions, but it's on its way. Congressman Paul Ryan pointed out recently that, by 2004, 20 percent of U.S. households were getting about 75 percent of their income from the federal government. As a matter of practical politics, how receptive would they be to a pitch for lower taxes, which they don't pay, or lower government spending, of which they are such fortunate beneficiaries? How receptive would another fifth of households, who receive about 40 percent of their income from federal programs, be to such a pitch?

And what's to stop this trend? Democracy decays easily into the tyranny of the majority, in which 51 percent of voters can empty the pockets of the other 49 percent. That's why a country on the fast track to a $20 trillion national debt exempts half the population from making an even modest contribution to reducing it. And it's also why the remorseless shriveling of the tax rolls is a cancer at the heart of republican citizenship.

Pace Max Baucus, this isn't about correcting the "mal-distribution" of income. What Mal Max is up to is increasing dependency. In the newspeak of Big Government, "tax cuts" now invariably mean not reductions in the rate of income seizure but a "tax credit" reimbursed from the seizure in return for living your life the way the government wants you to. With Obamacare, we've now advanced to the next stage – "tax debits," or additional punitive confiscation if you decline to live your life in accordance with government fiat. Obamacare requires you, upon penalty of law, to make provisions for your health care that meet the approval of the state commissars. Unfortunately, as they discovered after passing it, the bill didn't provide for any enforcement mechanisms. But not to worry. The other day Douglas Shulman, commissioner for the Internal Revenue Service, announced that, if you fail to purchase the mandated health insurance, he'll simply confiscate any tax refund due to you in from your previous 12 months' employment withholding.

We are now not merely disincentivizing economic energy but actively waging war on it. If 51 percent can vote themselves government lollipops from the other 49 percent, soon, 60 percent will be shaking down the remaining 40 percent, and then 70 percent will be sticking it to the remaining 30 percent. How low can it go? When you think about it, that 53 percent of American households prop up not just this country but half the planet: They effectively pick up the defense tab for our wealthiest allies, so that Germany, Japan and others can maintain minimal militaries and lavish the savings on cradle-to-grave entitlements. A relatively tiny group of people is writing the check for the entire global order. What proportion of them would need to figure out the game's no longer worth it to bring the whole system crashing down?


Friday, April 09, 2010

Odumbo One Liners

The liberals are asking us to give Obama time. We agree . . . and think 25 to life would be appropriate.

Q: Have you heard about McDonald's' new Obama Value Meal?
A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it.

Q: What does Barack Obama call lunch with a convicted felon?
A: A fund raiser.

Q: What's the difference between Obama's cabinet and a penitentiary?
A: One is filled with tax evaders, blackmailers and threats to society. The other is for housing prisoners.

Q: If Nancy Pelosi and Obama were on a boat in the middle of the ocean and it started to sink, who would be saved?
A: America!

Q: What's the difference between Obama and his dog, Bo?
A: Bo has papers.

Q: What was the most positive result of the "Cash for clunkers" program?
A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Bring on the Tea Party

Great op-ed by Kevin O'Brien of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

Kevin O'Brien: Who's afraid of a little Tea Party? Everyone, fortunately
By Kevin OBrien, The Plain Dealer
April 08, 2010, 6:01AM

Democratic officeholders should be afraid.

Republican officeholders, too.

For many a year now, officeholders of both major parties have worked hard to earn the distrust of ordinary Americans. It appears that they finally have succeeded.

If only ordinary Americans hadn't been so inattentive. If only ordinary Americans hadn't been so trusting. If only ordinary Americans hadn't been so damnably nice, the country would be in a better position to manage its finances today.

But when have Americans not tried to look for the good in every situation? When have we not been slow to recognize the need to deal with forces, foreign or domestic, aligning against our best interests?

Better late than never, a lot of ordinary Americans are waking up to the sobering reality that there really is no one they can trust. Not Democrats. Not Republicans. Not government. Not corporations. And certainly not corporations in league with government.


The people who are angry today are more in tune with this nation's founders than ordinary Americans have been in decades.

The United States has an intricate system of checks and balances, and a government structure based on a separation of powers, and a Bill of Rights that safeguards the rights of states and the rights of the people precisely because the greatest collection of political talent and philosophical insight ever assembled on this continent -- and maybe anywhere on this planet -- looked at the concept of government and said, "We need to make a really small cage for this thing, then be careful not to overfeed it."

We seem to have lost the care-and- feeding instructions about a century ago. We let government out of its little cage and it has been consuming everything it can lay its paws on ever since. In the last 45 years, it has been on a real binge, and in the last year and a half, it has taken bigger bites than a lot of people thought possible.

Ordinary Americans who care about freedom are finally getting a clue and -- horrors! -- they're hollering at members of Congress. That's right: Nice, trusting, formerly inattentive Americans are getting in the faces of the political class and calling them names.

Big (Joe Biden expletive deleted) deal. If members of the political class are too tender to endure a little well-earned rudeness from the people whose hard-earned money they like to "spread around," then they ought to get out of politics. Maybe their successors will find the voice of the people less irritating.

A very, very few ordinary Americans are going so far as to threaten members of the ruling class with physical harm or property damage. That's not fine.

All that does is damage the cause of the people who are loudly but peaceably petitioning their government for the redress of a growing list of very real grievances.

It also allows politicians on the left, including a president who now taunts opponents of his new health care law every time he speaks, to cast themselves simultaneously as victors and victims.

Finally, threats from the right allow the left to lump every proponent of individual liberty, self-reliance, limited government and limited government spending -- the Tea Party movement, in general -- in with nuts who might actually do some harm.

Don't doubt for a second that the left is hoping desperately for someone to step all the way out of line. They thought they had their man -- and early news reports said they did -- when Joseph Stack crashed his Piper Dakota into an IRS building in Texas.

As it turned out, Stack proved to be a Marx-quoting lefty -- the wrong flavor of nut.

So the left has to settle for a little name-calling of its own: "ignorant," "racist," "homophobes," "hooligans," "extremists." The list, as you know, goes on and on.

It's bunk, but it's the script.

Tea Party folks are just patriots worried, with good reason, about the future of the country they love. They're vocal and they're inspiringly unaffiliated.

They scare the hell out of both political parties, because they've embraced distrust.

The Democrats fear them because they see through the left's empty promise of utopia in exchange for freedom. The Republicans fear them because they're pushy and because they're loyal to their principles rather than to a party.

They make everyone uncomfortable. That's healthy.


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